Facebook Portal TV – Spying on you from the TV

Facebook has updated its “Portal” range of video chat devices, including a new version that plugs directly into a TV.

Portal TV, available in the US from November, sits on top of – or at the bottom of – the screen and, like other Portal devices, features tracking technology to follow people around the room.

But the company also revealed it had resumed the use of human contractors to review and transcribe audio clips gathered through its Portal devices.

Data collection and storage was suspended last month following controversy over the practice, which some argued was not properly disclosed to users.

But as of Wednesday, clips gathered through the use of Portal’s voice assistant would again be heard and analyzed by humans, unless users choose to opt out. Human review of audio captured by Facebook’s Messenger mobile app was still “paused”, the firm said.

“The new settings begin to roll out tomorrow on existing Portal devices,” a spokeswoman said.

“Everyone will get a notification that explains how your ‘Hey Portal’ voice interactions are used and directs you to settings if you want to turn off storage.”

The audio does not include the content of calls made on the device, Facebook added.

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